An award-winning online tool that uses data to transform the quality of Scottish cancer patients’ lives is looking towards a national roll-out following the success of five pilot schemes.
My Clinical Outcomes (MCO) was awarded the Industry Collaboration accolade at this year’s Scottish Digital Health and Care Awards.
It analyses the side effects and symptoms experienced by cancer patients throughout their diagnosis, treatment and long-term care phases, and gives clinicians an accurate understanding of their condition and how they are responding to treatment.
The technology, funded by the Cancer Innovation Challenge, enables patients to record their symptoms in real time from their homes and aims to potentially improve their life expectancy, while delivering longer-term insights into the effectiveness of various treatments.
To date, the platform has successfully collected and analysed data from patients with haematological cancer at NHS Ayrshire and Arran.
The project started as a trial through the Cancer Innovation Challenge in 2017, and is now in routine long-term use supporting the care of chemotherapy patients at University Hospital Crosshouse and Ayr Hospital – with positive benefits for many patients.
Three additional phases, focused on breast, lung, bladder, prostate and gynaecological cancers, are running at the Beatson West of Scotland Cancer Centre, Greater Glasgow and Clyde and the South East Scotland Cancer Network.
The final phase – the National Digital Platform – is aimed at putting steps in place to deploy the platform across all Scottish health boards.
Sally Damms, chief operating officer at MCO, said: “Nationally, more than 60,000 patients and over 1000 clinicians across the UK are successfully using the platform to support a range of medical conditions … Due to the sheer volume of patients seen every year, hospitals tend to only track process-driven outcomes that are easier to measure, such as waiting times, length of stay and avoidable complications.
“While these are important, they don’t capture the impact of disease on patients’ lives, and the success or otherwise of treatment, particularly as these measurements tend to end when patients leave the hospital.
“From the patient perspective, it can also take a huge amount of effort to arrange regular calls or appointments with a specialist, particularly if they’re unwell following treatment, meaning symptoms sometimes go unreported. By providing a user-friendly, web-based platform, patients are more likely to accurately record how they are feeling – information that can be used by clinicians to inform and improve their treatment and quality of life.”
Dr Peter Maclean, from NHS Ayrshire and Arran, said his experience with MCO was refreshingly positive, and added: “It gives me hope, that with the right collaboration, an amazing amount can be achieved within the NHS setting.”
Scotland’s Chief Medical Officer, Dr Catherine Calderwood, launched the £1 million Cancer Innovation Challenge in 2017 to help Scotland become a world leader in cancer care.
This project brings together three innovation centres, led by The Data Lab, working with Digital Health and Care Institute and Precision Medicine Scotland.
Steph Wright, director of health and wellbeing engagement at The Data Lab, said: “By taking a patient-led approach to symptom tracking, health practitioners are given a clearer picture of the ways in which treatment impacts individuals, providing an opportunity to tailor care and to improve quality of life.”
Source: The National